Shearer Matt Best moves Angelina the alpaca onto the shearing mats. Ivy Ashe

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The alpacas at Island Alpaca get just one haircut per year, and it's dramatic. Their winter fleece--about three inches thick on a full-grown adult--gets clipped away, showing off their long legs and long necks. Alpacas were bred specifically for this fleece, which is stronger than wool. 

78 animals were sheared over the course of two days this weekend, leaving behing more than 600 pounds of fleece. Dreary weather outside didn't stop crowds from trickling through the barn to watch the process, led by a team of professional shearers visiting from New Hampshire. The fleece will next be sent to a fiber mill and fiber co-op to be turned into yarn, hats, gloves, and socks. 

Milo, a two-year-old male, sheared off the most fleece of any alpaca: 11.8 pounds. 



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